STFU Parents: 6 Things You Can’t Do Once You’re A Parent

5. Nap in the Car

I don’t recall a time that my mom and I napped together in the car, whether it was at a park, in a driveway, or on a bridge, but I guess I can understand why someone might do that. However, as much as I find it incredibly weird that someone knocked on Art’s window to ask if the car was for sale (??), I think it’s actually rather comforting that a park ranger knocked on Kari’s window to make sure she was okay and/or the mother of the children in the back seat. I understand that kids need a little midday shut-eye, but if mom needs the shut-eye, too, it might make more sense to just go home.

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  • Justme

    I really don’t understand the one about taking a nap in the car. What in the world? If you’re tired why don’t you just go home? And then someone seconded her! Is there some secret to napping and motherhood that I’m missing out on? Or am I the only person who thinks her bed is infinitely more comfortable than a car seat the doesn’t recline past 45 degrees?

    • kate

      well i know there have been times we pull into the driveway, and my kids are sleeping in back and my husband and i are just tempted to get in a nap too because they’ll wake up if we move them, but ive always felt it was a little too weird to be napping right out in our driveway.

    • t_chick

      I’ve pulled over to nap on road trips, safer than driving tired. I don’t find that odd at all, just inconvenient.

    • mabinogi

      I don’t see a problem with this either. If she’s tired enough to need a nap in the car, she’s too tired to be driving home too. I’ve pulled over on longish drives for naps before, and I don’t have kids yet.

    • goofyjj

      I don’t understand how this is a problem at – all unless I’m missing something…. Wasn’t he just checking to see if they were ok or ALIVE? I mean – they were sleeping in a car!!! If I saw that (in Chicago), I would call the police for a well-being check

    • Kelly S

      because waking babies up is akin to child abuse, dontchaknow. witness all the posts about people freaking out about someone who doesn’t know them at all daring to exist during naptime.

    • goofyjj

      Yeah I seem to keep forgetting that. Seeing as I’m in the satanic cult of “childless by choice” I never got around that that amendment of the constitution.

    • Justme

      I just find it weird to be taking a nap in your car.

    • goofyjj

      exactly. I mean if you are indeed that tired and you are ALONE I can maaaaaaaaaaaaybe see it for like ten minutes. But with kids and in the forest preserves? (did I read that part right or is it an assumption because of the “ranger”)…. That is a Lifetime movie waiting to happen.

    • sy21

      My only guess is that maybe the kids fell asleep in the car and instead of going home she decided to just pull over at the nearest park and catch a few z’s while she was at it. Once you get them home, they’ll wake up and you lose nap time. But still – that was a major overreaction. I’d be concerned if no one checked on a sleeping family in the park!

    • Kelly S

      i think someone even THIRDED her! what the hell IS this?

    • wmdkitty

      I’d rather see a person napping in a car than see a person wrecked on the side of the road because they fell asleep while driving (possibly harming others in the process).

    • Gracie Vee

      Okay, from what I remember about having young kids… the thing about sleeping is, you only get to do it when they do because when they’re up and about you’re supervising them (or supposed to be). So when you go home, the kids wake up, you don’t get to sleep – the moment is over. Though it’s weird that she thought it should appear perfectly normal to anyone… for all he knew they were all dead of carbon monoxide poisoning or something.

  • LoveyDovey

    I wanna shove a cupcake down Lupe’s throat too. How dare you try to dictate what someone “should” do ON THEIR BIRTHDAY?! If someone did that to me I’d tell them to get bent.

    • Frances Bean

      Lupe sounds like a bitter little pill methinks.

    • ladycrim

      I’m not sure if I’m more annoyed by Lupe’s declaration that Mommies don’t get birthdays or by the fact that she’s apparently using “lol” as punctuation.

  • Ally

    Fantastically fabulous, as usual

  • Ipsedixit

    The Taste of Del Ray one is just insane, but sadly, becoming more common.

    Not every participant is a parent. Not every parent has small children. Not all small children take naps at that time, if they do so at all (to this day, my son refuses to nap, much to my chagrin. Mama loves her naps). Sometimes you just have to forgo certain events if they don’t fit into your schedule, for whatever reason. Arguing that a community event doesn’t fit into YOUR schedule is the height of entitled.

    • AP

      I’m an adult with no children, and I wouldn’t make it to Taste of Del Ray, because on a weekend, the chances of me and my husband being awake, showered, dressed, and sufficiently fed to leave the house by 1 pm is just…not going to happen. Should I complain that they should move it because I like to read the paper on Sunday afternoon or my husband just won’t stop playing Skyrim in time?

    • Ipsedixit

      Clearly, the answer is to write a strongly worded tweet!

      “DRBA’s decision to hold Taste of Del Ray from 1-3 pm on 6/5 pretty much guarantees that people who do not leave the house by 1 pm can’t come.

      Next time, DRBA, how ’bout not scheduling community events for families squarely in the middle of my Sunday paper reading time?

      Well, don’t feel bad — based upon their planning, the DRBA isn’t too familiar with The Elder Scrolls”

    • ODBeckster

      We are firmly in that camp as well… Nothing better than a lazy weekend morning/afternoon.

    • outside-o-dc

      if the Taste of Del Ray is in the Del Ray I’m thinking about, I know why this post exists– it’s rife with entitled douchbaggery.

  • Ashley Taylor

    if its a park where there’s a park ranger i would venture to say they are not near home.

    • Ipsedixit

      Not necessarily. The metro parks a few miles from our house have park rangers. The parks circle the greater metro area of our city, mostly running through the burbs.

    • Katie

      We live walking distance from a national park, with park rangers and all.

      Not everyone lives in the city.

  • Donna

    I’m confused… what radio station is Shauna listening to where she’s hearing “shit” and “F-bombs”? Seriously. Maybe the midwest is backwards and behind (I wouldn’t be surprised) but it was only recently that I heard “damn” be allowed on the radio, and these are on heavy rock stations. Shit and fuck are still censored. Is Shauna just so afraid of curse words that she’s hearing them where there aren’t any?

    • Frances Bean

      I live in NYC and I think the radio is censored here more than when I lived in Cincinnati. I have traveled all around the US and never heard the word sh*t on a top 40 station, and definitely not the F bomb. Maybe she lives somewhere else?

    • LiteBrite

      Hey now. I live in the Upper Midwest, and we sensor our curse words just as much as any of you more forward-thinking trendsetters. :)

      But seriously, I was wondering the same thing. Where is she hearing “shit” and “fuck” on the radio?

    • Erin W

      I don’t think the FCC allows uncensored broadcasts on general radio, but what about satellite? If you have to pay for the subscription, it seems like it would be a different rule. I don’t know having never been able to afford satellite radio.

      Also, on iTunes you can usually buy “clean” versions of popular songs, which I am kind of against on principle, but that would be an option for moms whose kids love the Black Eyed Peas or whoever.

    • LiteBrite

      After I made my comment below, I thought, “Oh that’s right. Satellite.” My husband has Sirius, and they don’t censor jack. This is fine by me (I’ve said things that would make a hardcore Marine blush), but not so much for kids.

      Of course, the obvious point I would make to Shauna then is, “Don’t listen to it while the kids are in the car,” but that might be beyond her.

    • Andrea

      Satellite radio isn’t required to censor, but some stations do. The Hits 1 station definitely censors. If I’m not mistaken, the stations that don’t censor are labeled as such.

    • LiteBrite

      @ Andrea, ah okay. We don’t listen to the hits/pop stations on there, just the hard rock/heavy metal ones. (Once in awhile I can convince my husband to let me listen to the retro New Wave station, but that’s only if he’s in a good mood.)

    • Tish

      Triple J in Australia don’t censor their songs, but they do add a nifty language warning if it is especially fruity!

  • goofyjj

    I think camping K. may just be my favorite mom ever featured on your blog. she’s honest and a) doesn’t think snowflake deserves an award for being a kid and b) realizes that sometimes kids do suck the fun out of a lot of things…………..

    • LiteBrite

      I admired her honesty too, and I had to keep from giggling alone at my desk because I completely related to her. I love my son to death, but sometimes he can be a giant pain in the butt. Not every moment with a kid is sunshine, rainbows, and happy singing elves.

      But I do want offer some hope to Camping K: it does get better as the kid gets older. At three, my son could be a major buzzkill. Now that he’s almost five, he’s more cooperative and thus a lot more fun. :)

    • goofyjj

      well she did say “under 5″ so I hope you are right with Camping K….. I know my nephews were much more fun when they could actually answer me and tell me what they wanted to do….

    • Anna K. Perry

      Agree…. camping K hit the nail on the head!

  • aoirghe

    Just want to say that I’m currently a mom with mono. My husband has done all the cooking, cleaning and childcare while I’ve been out of commission. Being sick when you’re a mom doesn’t have to be awful, you just need to not have had a kid with a douchebag.

    • K

      No kidding. A lot of these moms seem like they have children with terrible fathers.

    • aoirghe

      I imagine that being a single parent when you’re sick must really suck, at least until the kid is old enough to feed and entertain themselves. I would be super miserable right now without my husband around, so major respect to all the single parents out there. But if you’re partnered? It’s not the end of the world. Or at least it probably shouldn’t be.

    • K

      Not to mention older kids can help out as well. My son has always tried to make me feel better when I’m sick with cuddles, movies, and water fetching. Being sick without a support network is horrible, but if you have one, use it!

    • STFUParents

      OMG I had no idea you have mono. I’m sorry to hear that! But yes, I did almost say something to that effect in the column. 1) Men can be helpful! Crazy but true. And, 2) Men can also be FT caregivers who deal with the same situation.

    • aoirghe

      Eh, no bigs. I’ve gotten to watch a shit ton of Breaking Bad, so you know, it all evens out in the end.

    • goofyjj

      I hate being sick – I’ve seen pretty much every episode of Law & Order and my boyfriend hates Gossip Girl. So I’m stuck with Everybody Loves Raymond (I like raymond, but not THAT much) or the real kardashians of atlanta or something like that. And I’d rather go to work with bubonic plague than watch that!

    • aoirghe

      Netflix streaming. It’s all about the Netflix streaming.

    • Kelly S

      men BETTER be “helpful.” sorry, if you’re one half of a parenting team, and you’re not an equal caregiver, you suck. :)

    • aliceblue

      I was wondering about that myself. My parents are 70 now so not “modern” but when mom was sick dad at least cooked and kid watched. Certainly no one expected mom to do it. Of course, she didn’t get her “martyr mommy” badge either.

  • NotThumper

    As a mom there’s nothing I CAN’T do just things I have had to do differently. I just get creative ;)

  • kmeghan

    you know that songs on the radio can’t say shit. Or download the clean versions. there’s a way around all this. And I want my songs with cuss words in them!!!

  • Kelly S

    where does shauna live that “shit” is not edited out of every song? and what exactly is her desired solution, since she refuses to do something as simple and logical as change the station? my god, she is an actual child.

    • waffre

      Don’t quote me on this, but I think she’s listening to satellite radio. I’m pretty sure that their pop station is called “top 40,” and they don’t censor.

    • BigBlue

      Actually, the top 40 station on satellite radio does censor. Not all of the stations do censor but that one definitely does. The only “uncensored” song I’ve heard on there is “Rolling in the Deep.”

  • Lindsay Cross

    I would just like to randomly say that I really love camping with my four-year-old. It’s not the same as hiking and kayaking with just my husband and I, but that doesn’t mean it’s not any fun. You just have to change your expectations a little.

    • goofyjj

      I think she seemed to be implying actual infant. And although I personally believe camping is no place for a kid that small that needs constant attention, to each their own. I agree that an older child would be easier to deal with in an environment such as this. Like 16 or 25.

      I kid. I kid.

      ok 27

  • Afraidtoshootlemons

    On the last one, she COULD teach her kids that whining gets them nowhere. Before 3 years old, they all knew that whining prompted me ignoring them or putting them in their room. It’s really easy to encourage the big girl/boy voice, and you’ll love your time with them WAY MORE for it!

    • goofyjj

      I loved saying to my nephew “kid, that is not going to work” when he tried the whining. Today he’s a great, polite young man.

    • Justme

      I tell my nephews that I can’t hear them when they whine. And then if they keep it up, I just ignore them until they use a normal voice.

  • Kel

    So…What else is hard about life as a parent?

    That time you really wanted your Venti mochacchino but Starbucks kicked you out because your kid shit himself in the car and was walking around the store pantless? Missing the latest blockbuster because Cindy down the street got a date and can’t babysit? Having to forgo your dream of visiting Egypt because you have to *sigh* save for Jr’s college education? Having sex interrupted by a sick toddler?

    Wow, today’s parents really are modern-day martyrs.

  • neighbor57

    Thanks, Lupe, you just made my invitation list for my b-day party one person less.

  • SDB

    the birthday submission makes me sad.

    • Ally

      Me too. I didn’t realise mothers had to forgo celebrating their birthdays. Should have told that to a friend of mine when she organised for her husband to look after the kids on her birthday so she and I could go to a concert and drink champagne. How selfish of her!

  • Sarah May

    And yet they all have time for posting and responding multiple times on FB.

  • Cindy

    My mom’s birthday is the day before mine. As far as I know, she’s never gone without a dinner or a cake, and that includes the birthday dinner at Ground Round before she went into labor with me at 2 am. Of course, we share a birthday cake/party every year, which would probably make Lupe clutch her pearls.

  • hoppy

    I like these- funny, though i can relate to the last one. draggin your ass out of your sleeping bag and tent, at 5:30 i the morning before you want to get up, is not fun when a toddler says they have to go potty. but the rest of the camping is loads of fun!
    and girls night for your brithday is still loads of fun, post kids, especially when the bartender cards all of you -lol

  • OnionButt

    Last time I napped in a weird place (as in not my house but more of a public place) was in a cemetery. My friend was visiting and it is one of those tourist spot cemeteries. I was EXHAUSTED but she wasn’t ready to go so I found a nice spot under a tree (don’t worry I wasn’t trying to snooze on someone’s grave) and sprawled out.

    Yes, a groundskeeper or some such (can recall his role at the cemetery) did check on me. Of course I’d have preferred not to have been woken up, but I also didn’t resent him for it – I understood that it might seem alarming/out of the ordinary for a lone woman to be napping in a cemetery. If anything, i appreciated his concern.

    By the way, napping in a cemetery is QUITE peaceful. It was a gorgeous fall afternoon and I personally find cemeteries pretty tranquil – at least this one is, it’s very beautiful.

    Regarding the radio stuff – I would also have to assume she’s listening to satellite radio if she’s hearing shit and fuck. I think the ONLY song on regular radio I heard that had the word fuck and it wasn’t censored was Sarah McLachlan’s “Building a Mystery” with the line, “You’re a beautiful…a beautiful fucked up man”. I think it’s just one of those sneak f-bombs or it IS censored and I just can’t tell.

    There’s a song by Staind that I love and I love it so much more uncensored. “It’s Been Awhile” features both “shit” and “fuck” and I swear they really add some oomph to the song. I love how he really stresses those words in the uncensored version. But that’s just me – I think cussing is its own art form. :-)

    • goofyjj

      1. I find it awesomely creepy that you nap in a cemetary. It would have been much more, um, interesting if said cemetary ranger “faded out” after he woke you. whoa

      2. did not know Sarah McL had such a potty mouth. Love it! she should bring that to her captured puppies commercials “donate motherfuckers! they need money!!!”

  • Xyzzy

    I’m in the SF Bay Area, and while it’s a different genre, almost all of the classic rock stations I listen to allow pretty much everything aside from the f-word.

    I’m not sure that location matters much, though — most radio stations these days are owned by a national conglomerate like Clearchannel and rely heavily on the company’s music feeds.

  • Xyzzy

    Based on the non-sat classic rock stations in my area (SF Bay), the FCC doesn’t care about mild swearing like “shit” — the stations already allowed it back in the 80s/90s when I was growing up here, and most of the current stations are the same.

  • Charlie

    I kinda like K. S/he is not crying about how unfair the world is but just saying why little kids suck. Also, I have a suspicion that K is not a parent of the kids in question. Sounds like big sibling/cousin whining going on there but maybe that’s just me.

  • Charlie

    Exactly! It goes for people without kids too. I work with a community college and you wouldn’t believe how many times one individual in a group of 200 will demand we change the class time to better fit his/her work schedule or social schedule or sittin’ around time.

  • aliceblue

    Lupe’s suggestion of a party sounds more tiring than the one she slams – letting dad do the work while mom relaxes. I see no reason why mom has to leave the house & her “precious” in order relax but, even if she want to go out for a massage and pedicure. I think that mom can decide for herself if she can survive 3 hours without her offspring.
    Also, sounds like Lupe’s poor hubby didn’t get any attention from her OR chance to bond with his offspring for a good long while.

  • aliceblue

    OK, you are at a state or national park (it has a ranger) so I’m assuming that there are some nice grassy spaces. People picnic and take a nap all the time, not unusual and something you could have done if you didn’t want to be disturbed. Now there is nothing wrong with taking a nap in your car, but that is more unusual and you can’t blame the ranger for wanting to make sure that you aren’t ill or having car trouble. In fact is you had one of those two problems & he had not stopped, you’d probably be bitching how this horrible man left you and babby stranded and that no one respects mothers anymore. Poor man couldn’t win.

  • TheSeize

    I have friends we traditionally go Memorial Day camping with us every year. They take their toddler (also took him when he was younger) and their newborn. While I don’t think I’ll do it when I’m a mom, they actually pull it off fine. They have fun and I was happy to find out it didn’t effect the rest of us camping. Dogs some people bring on this camping trip are actually what I would call out as needy, whiny, and annoying over those kids. I don’t know if it’s the parenting or the kids (or both), but good for them. However, I’m certainly not going to judge anyone that gets a babysitter. *thumbs up*

    • goofyjj

      I agree. dogs can be annoying too. all in all it’s the parenting. If you raise your kids right, they don’t become brats (as a general rule). And the ones that do, you can send them off to military school…..

  • Lx

    Well said, Aoirghe! I too had a baby with a non douchebag who is happy to help me with everything and anything without hesitation. This includes: taking the baby so mom can have a bath, go out with friends, cook something special, go for a walk, just have some time to myself or be sick if that’s the case. Here’s to not being married to assholes who think we have to forfeit being human because we had a baby! Hurrah!

  • Kristi Dwelis

    Hahaha! I love this list! It seems like so many of the people my age are having kids and then complaining when they can’t go out and be a ‘normal 21 year old’. You can argue with me all you want to and call be ignorant but you CANNOT do all the things that non parents can do. I think it is just selfish to try to. No, parenting is not the end to all good times and social interaction but seriously? Shouldn’t your priority be CARING FOR YOU CHILD and not trying to live it up. I have no sympathy for people with children that complain about the hardships of life w kids. I feel for you, sure, but ultimately, it was your CHOICE to have and raise that child. Its tough! Deal with it and be a parent.

  • anonygon

    There’s nothing I can’t do as a parent of 2 that I would have done 6 years ago as a 23 year old nonparent. I do whatever the hell I want to. It just so happens that I want to do different things now. :)
    I’ll be turning 30 next month, and hell yes I’ll be celebrating all weekend long. I’ll be at the club dancing with my girls. I’ll have a big party and my kids will have a blast. And then I’ll have brunch with the whole fam. Even my parents.
    Your priorities change when you have kids, and your perspective changes. When I get sick, I’m so thankful to have a day off by myself lol.

  • anonyshon

    Wait a minute now. Some women are married to military men who have to be away. I know what you mean though. And feel better soon. :)

  • kelly

    Yeah it’s BS. My husband will be watching my kids while I’m dancing with my girls at the club for my 30th. But we’ll celebrate as a family too :)

  • Mary Renee Reuter

    Oh my god, the part about sleeping in the car had me laughing so hard I was crying. And their anger is so self-righteous as if it’s a totally normal occurrence! I personally have never ever slept in the car. I’ve slept at the beach. Once at an art museum, but that was pressing it. But these people are like “Duh! We’re taking a family nap in the car!” Who ever the guy is who came up and asked if the car was for sale is my hero.

  • Lizzy

    Napping in a car in broad day light for real? Why not just head home? If you’re in another state or a tourist why not go back to the hotel? He had every right to run her license. That’s not normal people behavior. Truckers stop and sleep in their vehicle because they have to. Mom of 2 unless she’s homeless (and they’d run her license even then) would not need to be piled up in the car sleeping in broad day light. I’ve had some rough days I don’t nap often and when I do it is at home damn.

    And breastfeeding on your birthday because asking dad to care for the kids is a crazy concept? These people are stupid.